Ancient Wonders Series #1: The Basics- Rune Shard Mini Game
Each Ancient Wonder requires the player to win a Rune Shard mini-game before it can be constructed. The rune shard mini-game consists of 9 slots that need to be filled in with rune shards gained from completing provinces, from tournament rewards or event rewards. You win the mini-game when all 9 slots have been filled.
We essentially are rolling dice to see which slot a rune shard lands in.
When you get a rune shard, you go into that rune’s corresponding Wonder and go into the ‘Runes’ tab. There you will see how many runes you have available and how many slots you have filled in. The runes that you insert will go to a random rune slot, so the chances of the slots being filled get lower and lower as you go along. If you insert a rune and it tries to go into a slot that is already filled, the rune shard will break (shards breaking is kind of redundant, but what can you do?) and you will instead gain a Broken Shard.
10 Broken Shards can be used to fill one empty rune slot. The only luck with broken shards is which empty slot it goes to. Because the broken shard is guaranteed to fill an empty slot, it is best to use the Broken Shards on a Wonder that is very close to having the 9 rune slots filled to help bypass luck. Without Broken Shards it would very difficult to finish the 9 slots.
If you have only a few Runes filled in on a Wonder that you want to build, but you are close to gaining a broken shard, you can wait on placing Runes in other Wonders ’til you have some of the specific rune of the Wonder you are trying to build. Then only try Runes for the Wonder you want to build so that later when you do gain a broken shard, it is more than likely going into a “harder” to place rune slot in the Wonder that you want it in.
As shown in the picture above of the Shrine of the Shrewdy Shrooms, it is also possible to spend diamonds to get, up to, 10 broken shards (you are buying Broken Shards, so if you already have 1, for example, you would spend diamonds to gain 9, etc…) which means you are buying 1 Rune Shard that cannot miss its mark.
Never Tell Me the Odds!
The chance of a Rune Shard landing in an empty slot is equal to the number of empty slots divided by the number of possible slots. In the picture above, there are 7 empty slots of the 9 total, so a 7 in 9 chance to not break a Rune Shard.
9 (empty)/9 (possible) 100% chance to hit an empty slot! Woot Woot!
8/9 88.888888% chance
7/9 77.777777% chance
6/9 66.666666% chance
5/9 55.555555% chance
4/9 44.444444% chance *gulp*
3/9 33.333333% chance (gettin’ dicey)
2/9 22.222222% chance
1/9 11.1111111% chance
In terms of dice, we are rolling a 9 sided die (the game itself is doing the rolling for you, so no need to break out those bones, this is just to illustrate what is going on behind the scenes). Each rune slot has a number on the die. The game code in essence is acting as a Dungeon Master in D&D, rolling dice behind a partition so that nobody can see the results.
Gaining Rune Shards
There are a number of ways that a player can gain Rune Shards.
- Completing a Province on the World Map gives one random Rune Shard. If you have not unlocked and Ancient Wonder tech int eh research tree, you will not gain a Rune Shard this way. The Rune Shard rewarded this way will be usable for a Wonder that the player has already unlocked in the Tech Tree.
- As rewards in Tournaments. These can be gained from completing tourney provinces at a certain level or from Fellowship Progress rewards. These are also randomized from among the types already unlocked.
- There are a few quests that award specific Rune Shards.
- Event rewards. These can be from Event Quests, or, as in the case of the Snow Flurry Event and Summer Solstice Event, as a possible reward when using Event Points to try to unlock the daily prizes.
- Investing enough Knowledge Points in someone else’s Ancient Wonders to get to a treasure chest reward. If the player “wins” a rune it will be for that specific Ancient Wonder that was invested in, regardless of whether or not they have unlocked that Wonder for themselves.
Eighteen Ancient Wonders exist in total, and they are unlocked in the Tech Tree. Chapter one is the only chapter that does not have an Ancient Wonder technology. Each Ancient Wonder technology that a player completes will give access to two new Ancient Wonders. This means that each time we unlock an Ancient Wonder tech, the chances of finishing the Rune Shard mini game for our previously opened Wonders gets smaller. This is because we now have more Rune Shards added to the randomly winnable prize pool.
There may be Wonders that you are waiting to unlock that you really want to build, which means you may want to stop completing Provinces until you can unlock the chance at gaining those Rune Shards. Completing 7 of the 8 encounters in a province will give you a leg up toward gaining those shards. Then, when you do unlock that Wonder, you only have one encounter to finish before getting a rune shard! Before this strategy can be effective, however, you need a few ducks in a row. The treasure chest locking you out of Advanced Scouts either needs to be openable, or needs to be at a place where not finishing provinces won’t hinder your progress.
Sometimes you will gain Rune Shards for Ancient Wonders that you have already built, but not to worry, they do have a use. To get an Ancient Wonder from level 5 to level 6, we have to once again complete the Rune Shard Mini Game. This is also true for level 10 to level 11, and level 15 to level 16.